June 5, 1991 - Air Jordan switched the ball from his right hand to his left in mid-air for the layup

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Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history to face Magic Johnson and James Worthy and beat the Los Angeles Lakers four games to one, compiling an outstanding 15–2 playoff record along the way. Perhaps the best known moment of the series came in Game 2 when, attempting a dunk, Jordan avoided a potential Sam Perkins block by switching the ball from his right hand to his left in mid-air to lay the shot in. In his first Finals appearance, Jordan posted per game averages of 31.2 points on 56% shooting from the field, 11.4 assists, 6.6 rebounds, 2.8 steals and 1.4 blocks. Jordan won his first NBA Finals MVP award, and he cried while holding the NBA Finals trophy.

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June 4, 1974 - The NFL grants franchise to Seattle; birth of the Seattle Seahawks

On June 15, 1972, Seattle Professional Football Inc., a group of Seattle business and community leaders, announced its intention to acquire an NFL franchise for the city of Seattle, WA. Two years later on June 4, 1974, the NFL gave the city an expansion franchise.

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June 3, 1992 - MJ set NBA Finals records for points scored in a half (35) and three-pointers made in one half (6)

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Host Chicago Bulls defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 122-89 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Michael Jordan dominated from the beginning, breaking the record for most points in a first half in the playoffs once held by Elgin Baylor (Michael had 35, Baylor had 33). This included six first-half threes (also a record). It was after the 6th 3 that Jordan turned towards the broadcast table and famously shrugged to indicate his surprise, as if to say, “I guess everything’s going in.” Jordan’s shrug became a highlight reel mainstay. This was needed as Portland made their first seven shots and ran to an eight-point lead in the first half, only to go down 29-28 to the Bulls at the end of the quarter. Portland was leading by 1 at 45-44, but then Chicago went on a 22-6 run to grab a 66-51 halftime lead and take control. The game was decided, and the Bulls earned a 122-89 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

"I started running for the three-point line; it felt like a free throw," Jordan famously said after the game.

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"Everywhere I’ve been, I’ve been the best player. I love being a leader, and I love being the best. I just want to get better. It’s not about being cocky or selfish or anything like that. It’s just how I am." - LeBron James

Be better. Do better.

May 8, 1970 - Willis Reed and the New York Knicks win their first championship

The New York Knicks managed only one winning season between 1955 and 1966. Desperate to improve, the team took Willis Reed in the second round of the 1964 draft. Reed hailed from Grambling State University, where he had amassed 2,280 career points and averaged 26.6 points and 21.3 rebounds per game during his senior year.
After disposing of the Baltimore Bullets and Milwaukee Bucks in seven- and five-game series, the Knicks met another talented squad in the 1970 NBA finals: the Los Angeles Lakers, led by 7-foot-1-inch center Wilt Chamberlain, guard Jerry West and forward Elgin Baylor. In the first four games of the series, Reed dominated, scoring 37, 29, 38 and 23 points, respectively, while averaging 15 rebounds.

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(via athleticpoetics)

"When you give a team life, give a team confidence, anything can happen in a Game 7." - Paul Pierce

The Truth.

May 4, 1994 - Charles Barkley scored a career high 56 points, with playoff record 38 first-half points

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Charles Barkley's 38 first-half points set an NBA playoff record. He scored 27 points in the first quarter, and added 11 more in the second quarter. In total, he made 23 of 31 shots, had 14 rebounds and made seven of nine free throws. Barkley propelled the Phoenix Suns through the opening round of the Western Conference Playoffs vs the Golden State Warriors. The Suns defeated the Warriors 140-133, to complete a three game sweep.

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#MJMondays

Michael Jordan throws down on Patrick Ewing (1991 NBA playoffs).

No Photoshop.

Apr. 20, 1986 - Air Jordan sets an NBA playoff record with 63 points in a game

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"I think," Larry Bird said after the game, “it’s just God disguised as Michael Jordan.”

Jordan was able to play in only 18 regular-season games in his second year in the NBA, after breaking a small bone in his foot in Chicago Bulls third game of the year. Although he was encouraged to sit out the end of the season in order to make sure he was fully healed for the next, he insisted on coming back late in the season and led the Bulls to the 1986 NBA Playoffs.

It was in Game 2 of Chicago’s first round matchup against the eventual NBA champion Boston Celtics that Jordan showed just how thoroughly he had recovered. In the hallowed halls of the Boston Garden, he set a playoff record by scoring an amazing 63 points against what many considered to be one of the greatest NBA teams ever. The Celtics won the game, 135-131 in double-overtime, and went on to sweep the Bulls, but Jordan’s playoff record still stands.

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"Don’t be afraid of failure. This is the way to succeed." - LeBron James

If at first you don’t succeed…

The 2013-14 NBA playoffs begin today! 
Eight first-round series set to tip off. What are your first round predictions? Who you got?
Eastern Conference 1. Indiana Pacers vs. 8. Atlanta Hawks 2. Miami Heat vs. 7. Charlotte Bobcats  3. Toronto Raptors vs. 6. Brooklyn Nets  4. Chicago Bulls vs. 5. Washington Wizards Western Conference 1. San Antonio Spurs vs. 8. Dallas Mavericks 2. Oklahoma City Thunder vs. 7. Memphis Grizzlies  3. Los Angeles Clippers vs. 6. Golden State Warriors 4. Houston Rockets vs. 5. Portland Trail Blazers

The 2013-14 NBA playoffs begin today!

Eight first-round series set to tip off. What are your first round predictions? Who you got?

Eastern Conference
1. Indiana Pacers vs. 8. Atlanta Hawks
2. Miami Heat vs. 7. Charlotte Bobcats
3. Toronto Raptors vs. 6. Brooklyn Nets
4. Chicago Bulls vs. 5. Washington Wizards

Western Conference
1. San Antonio Spurs vs. 8. Dallas Mavericks
2. Oklahoma City Thunder vs. 7. Memphis Grizzlies
3. Los Angeles Clippers vs. 6. Golden State Warriors
4. Houston Rockets vs. 5. Portland Trail Blazers

April 17, 1997 - Martin Brodeur becomes the second NHL goalie to score in a playoff game

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In the first game of a first-round playoff matchup against the Montreal CanadiansMartin Brodeur fired the puck the length of the ice and into the Canadiens’ empty net to ensure a 5–2 victory. It was only the second time in NHL history that a goaltender had scored in the playoffs, and the fifth time overall. The New Jersey Devils went on to win that series, but lost in the second round to the rival New York Rangers.

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Apr. 16, 1949 - The Toronto Maple Leafs became the first team to win three straight Stanley Cup titles

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The 1949 Stanley Cup Final was a best-of-seven series between the Detroit Red Wings and the defending champion Toronto Maple Leafs, the second straight final series between Detroit and Toronto. The Maple Leafs won the series in four straight games to win their third consecutive Stanley Cup and eighth in the history of the franchise.

The Maple Leafs became the first NHL team to win the Cup in three straight seasons. The Leafs also won nine straight finals games. By defeating Detroit, Toronto won the Stanley Cup with a losing record. The only other team to win the Stanley Cup after finishing the regular season with a losing record was the 1938 Chicago Blackhawks.

Apr. 11, 1989 - Ron Hextall became the first goalie in NHL history to score a goal in the playoffs

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Ron Hextall became the first NHL goaltender to score a goal by shooting the puck into the opponent’s empty net, against the Boston Bruins in the 1987–88 season. The following season, he became the first to score in the playoffs, by shooting the puck into the Washington Capitals’ empty net. His mobile style of play, in which he provided support to his defencemen by coming out of the goal area to play the puck was revolutionary, and inspired future generations of goaltenders, such as Martin Brodeur. He was also known for being one of the NHL’s most aggressive goaltenders: he was suspended for six or more games on three occasions, had more than 100 penalty minutes in each of his first three seasons, and set new records for the number of penalty minutes recorded by a goaltender in the NHL.

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Mar. 17, 1940 - first time in NHL history, one line finished 1-2-3 in league scoring

The 1939–40 NHL season was the 23rd season for the National Hockey League. Of the league’s seven teams, the Boston Bruins were the best in the 48-game regular season. The first place Boston Bruins had a new coach in Cooney Weiland, their one-time captain, and were once again led by their Kraut Line, Milt Schmidt, Woody Dumart, and Bobby Bauer as they finished 1–2–3 in overall league scoring. Unfortunately, the potent three were unable to help the Bruins get past the first round of the playoffs as the Bruins lost in six games to the New York Rangers.

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